Google reported its third quarter earnings this week, marking the search giant's largest-ever profit. Google's quarterly net income rose 27% to $1.64 billion ($5.13 per share) from $1.29 billion ($4.06 a share) a year ago, beating analyst's expectations. Revenue climbed 7% to $5.94 billion -- 53% of which came from outside the US.

The company's sales rose 7% to $5.94 billion, hinting at a growth in demand for online advertising, which many see as a sign of economic recovery. Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, offered his take on the economy saying, "While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future."

Being at the heart of the Internet's largest advertising network (and the Web itself), Google's search engine is often considered a barometer for e-commerce. The company's number of paid clicks (including those on Google and partner sites), rose 4% on quarter, and 14% on year. The average amount paid per click increased by about 5% from the previous quarter, but was down 6% from last year.